Rogue One

Thomas Cheng, Staff Writer

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, is a sci-fi action film, directed by Gareth Edwards.  Rogue One is technically part of the Star Wars original trilogy, but officially it is part of no trilogy because it takes place right before the events of the original Star Wars movie.  The movie focuses on new side characters instead of the main characters like Luke, Han, or Leia.  Instead it focuses on Jyn Erso, and a small group of rebels on the search for her father who is a imperial weapons scientist, then later to retrieve the Death Star plans.  


The story in general is very original, and is different from it’s other movie counterparts.  It still follows the main focus of Star Wars, which is the Rebellion’s desperate fight against the tyranny of the Galactic Empire.  The story actually has a great meaning to the original Star Wars movie.  If the events of Rogue One never happened, the events of the original movie would have never happened.  Also the movie gave fan some of the best Darth Vader moments ever, and proved Darth Vader can be sarcastic.  One of the moments was when Darth Vader used his iconic force choke on Director Krennick, after he asked him if he is still in charge of the Death Star, and Darth Vader responded with “Don’t choke on your aspirations” as he was choking him.  Another moments was when he moved through a whole room filled with rebels like it was nothing.  The story is very unique to star wars, but still keeps the classic star wars feel.  One major issue is that the movie failed to touch on the topic of the casualty of war and sacrifice.  It only just shows the casualty of war but doesn’t go very deep on the topic.


Rogue one has a very diverse cast of characters.  There is Jyn Erso, who is the daughter of Galen Erso who is an imperial weapons scientist, and is played by Felicity Jones.    Cassian Andor, who is a rebel spy, assassin, and soldier, who is played by Diego Luna.  He has been known for doing many despicable deeds for the rebellion, like the murder of it’s own spies, the assassination of high level imperial operatives, and the attempted assassination of Galen Erso, the person who secretly placed a weakness in the Death Star.  K-2SO, who is a reprogramed imperial security droid, who tends to blurt out whatever he thinks, who is played by Alan Tudyk.  Bodhi Rook, an imperial cargo pilot who defected and was sent by Galen Erso to deliver a message to Saw Gerrera.  Saw Gerrera is a rebel leader who splintered from the rebellion because of his tactics, which include the murder of innocent civilians.  Chirrut Imwe, who is a Guardian of the Wills, who guard and defend the Jedi temple in Jedha city, and is blind but still is a highly skilled warrior who is played by Donnie Yen.  He also has a deep spiritual belief in the force and would often pray to the force.  He is always accompanied by his friend Baze Malbus.  Baze used to be the most devoted Guardian of the Wills, but after the Empire came, he stopped believing in the force and just relied on his heavily modified, powerful, and very illegal blaster, and is played by Jiang Wen.  


The CGI and graphic of the movie is most likely the best in any star wars movie.  Everything from the stormtroopers, to the space battles, to the alien creatures, looks as real as it can be.  Everything looks as real as it can be.  The original movies used costumes that made the characters look like plastic, or rubber.  Then in later installments, the aliens looked really animated.  But one really cheesy thing the filmmakers did was use some old footage from the original star wars movie.  During the movie there was a space battle, where old footage was used.  The old footage was gold leader and red leader engaging the death star.  In Rogue one the rebels were engaging on a shield gate, but the old footage showed the Death Star.  (If you look through the windows of the fighter cockpit you can see a semicircular object.)  The ship’s itself looks like real metal.  Two more controversial CGI effects were the recreation of Grand Moff Tarkin, and Leia.  During the production of Rogue One, the actor for Tarkin was already dead so CGI and an actor was used to recreate the character.  I think that the recreation of him was spot on.  He really looked like the original Tarkin.  In Rogue One, Leia was still young and her actor, Carrie Fisher is already old, so an actor and CGI was used.  But this time the recreation was not good.  It sort of looked like her but not really.  


Rogue one contained a fair amount of easter eggs, but not as much as the Force Awakens did.  Some of them could only be identified by hardcore star wars fans.  In the beginning of the movie, viewers could see a glass of blue milk which references the original star wars movie, a stormtrooper doll, Jyn bumping into Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba who appeared in the original star wars movie, and Chopper from the star wars T.V series, Star Wars Rebels.  Also there was an announcement saying Captain Syndulla who is a character in Star Wars Rebels, Multiple appearances of the Ghost, which is a ship from Star Wars Rebels, and the destruction of a X-wing called Red-5 which was Luke Skywalker’s fighter number.  


Compared to the rest of the Series, Rogue one is definitely not the best of the best, but not the worst.  So if star wars movies were ranked from worst to best, it would be ranked, Prequels, Rogue One, Force Awakens, And Original trilogy.  It isn’t as bad as the Prequels, and trust me they were horrible, but not as iconic as the Original trilogy was.  That leaves the Force Awakens and Rogue One.  Honestly, the force awakens was much more appealing to fans, and drove some fans to tears of joy after they found out about the movie.  


On the box-office Rogue one made $1,050,988,448 worldwide.  So basically, Rogue One made about 1.05 BILLION dollars worldwide, making it the second most money made by a star wars movie, behind Force Awakens which made about 2.06 billion dollars.  Rogue one was considered a massive success when compared to other star wars movies.  One factor on why Rogue One was so successful is because of casting chinese actor in the movies.  Currently, the chinese movie market is starting to gain more money and popularity, and it is believed that China might have the next big movie market.  Also casting chinese actors made the movie more appealing to chinese fans.  China has the world’s highest population and if a movie is able to appeal to fans in that country, the movie can potentially make a lot of money.   

The music for Rogue one, composed by Michael Giacchino,  is different from the other star wars movies.  The music is sort of like a combination of Revenge of the Sith, and Empire Strikes Back.  The main focus of the songs is a sadness, bitter-sweet, hopeful, and action.  Songs like, Stardust, Long Ride Ahead, Jyn Erso and Hope Suite all have a sad bitter-sweet and hopeful feel, and mostly is played by string instruments.  Songs like, He’s Here for Us, Jedha City Ambush, Krennic’s aspirations, AT-ACT Assault, and Imperial Suite have a more action/suspenseful feel, and is played mostly with brass instruments.  Though it wasn’t as legendary as John Williams’ work on the original star wars movies, Michael Giacchino’s work still deserves to be recognized.  


If I were to rate Rogue One, I would give it a 7 out of 10.  It didn’t have much impact on fans, unlike the Force Awakens, or Return of the Jedi, but it was an enjoyable side story.  The CGI and effects exceeds all expectations, except the part that some old footage was reused.  The story was original with a diverse cast of characters, and still retained a star wars feel.  But the main problem is that it failed to touch fans on the topic of the casualty of war and sacrifice.  It contained a lot of easter eggs that satisfied many fans who were to spot them out.  Compared to the rest of the series, Rogue One wasn’t very bad but wasn’t very good.  If all star wars movies were placed from worst to best.  The prequels would be last, then Rogue One, Force Awakens, and then the Original trilogy.  Financially, Rogue one was a massive success.  It made about 1.05 BILLION dollars worldwide, making it the second most money made in a star wars movie.  And one contributor to this success is that the casters took the chinese movie market into consideration.  So, they casted two chinese actors into the movie, one of them (Donnie Yen) being immensely well known in China as an actor and a martial arts master.  Casting them into the movie allowed the movie to appeal to chinese fans.  The music composed by Michael Giacchino, is not as memorable as John William’s in the original star wars trilogy, it still is exceptional and deserves the title of star wars music.  Overall, Rogue One was an exceptional movie, but it failed to meet the potential of other star wars movies.